Elon Musk has revealed his plan to implement a monthly fee for users of the online platform X, formerly known as Twitter, including Nigerians and users worldwide.
Musk made this announcement on September 17, 2023, as part of an effort to combat the proliferation of bots on the platform.
Since acquiring the platform for $44 billion in October of the previous year, Musk has instigated several changes, such as reducing the workforce, introducing a paid premium option, reducing content moderation, and reinstating previously banned accounts, including that of former US President Donald Trump. These changes have resulted in a significant drop in advertising revenue for the platform.
Bots, automated accounts operated by computer programs rather than humans, have been a prevalent issue on X, where they are often used to artificially promote political messages or promote hate speech.
During a discussion with Musk, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised concerns about online anti-Semitism and the use of bot armies to promote it. In response, Musk explained that the introduction of a small monthly payment for the use of the X system was a measure to combat the widespread presence of bots. By requiring even a minimal fee for usage, the effective cost of running bots becomes significantly higher, as users would need to create new payment methods for each bot.
This conversation was broadcast on X and occurred amid a dispute between Musk and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a US-based Jewish organization. Musk accused the ADL of making baseless accusations of anti-Semitism, which, he claimed, led to a loss of advertisers and revenue for his company. He even threatened legal action against the ADL for billions of dollars.
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